AFTER their first debate that focused on sundry issues, especially the economy, about three weeks ago and the second town hall-style debate that featured undecided voters asking probing questions of them, the third presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney would have been more than a day and a half over by the time you’re reading this. In the first encounter, the Republican candidate was adjudged winner by the American public led by the media.
In that debate in which Romney went on the offensive and Obama was thought tired and listless, the Republican practically took over the debate, ignoring both the moderator, Jim Lehrer, and his opponent in the manner he cut into his opponent’s time and interrupted him.
He was quick, in fact, too quick to dismiss the President’s remarks and his sharp, pointed comments to Obama were in certain places disrespectful. After several gaffes, including his inappropriate criticism of preparations for the recent London Olympics that drew the ire of the British public and a fund-raiser reference to sections of the American public as victims who depended on government- after these series of faux pas, Romney was determined to mend his image in the eyes of Americans, especially the poorer people who saw him, the multi-millionaire CEO, as disconnected from the reality of their existence.
For these reasons it was understandable Romney wanted to make a good impression by attacking Obama’s policies. What I didn’t understand was why the
Americans or the section of it that shapes public opinion didn’t see what game Romney was up to. Romney came into the debate as the underdog and I guess his earnestness during the debate and the articulate, if aggressive, manner he made his point which was a cut different from what the American public was used to influenced the general opinion that he won the debate. I couldn’t see how Obama could have won had he returned fire for Romney’s fire. It would have been odd and very unpresidential.